After a slow first half, the Gee-Gees offence took flight in the second half as they were able to outlast the Ryerson Rams 70-63 on the road. Terry Thomas and Johnny Berhanemeskel carried the load for uOttawa as they combined for 43 points and six three pointers.
The Gee-Gees struggled to settle into a rhythm early on as they shot a miserable 30 per cent from the field in the first half. Terry Thomas came up big once again for the Gee-Gees as he put his team on his back, scoring the first 13 points of the game for Ottawa and scoring 17 points in the first half. Ryerson was able to take a 33-30 lead into the break in a game that was shaping up to be quite the defensive battle.
Ottawa’s strong run in the final frame was the turning point in the game as they stepped it up defensively and put the brakes on Ryerson’s offence. The effort allowed the garnet and grey to pad their lead, extending it to 13 points midway through the frame. The Rams made a push in the final minutes of the game but were not able to muster enough offence as the Gee-Gees took the important victory.
Head coach, James Derouin, has preached defence to his team all season long and he got an excellent effort from his team tonight. “The guys did a great job defensively tonight and it really put us in the best position to take this win. When your offence is slow, like it was for us tonight, you need your defence to carry you and we saw that from our team tonight. I think we got our best defensive effort of the season and it could not have come at a better time. ”
With Mehdi Tihani in foul trouble early on, Caleb Agada stepped in with a strong defensive effort for the Gee-Gees as he held Jamal Jones to 3-15 shooting on the night. “Caleb really was the spearhead of our defence tonight. Without him I don’t think this game would have had the same outcome,” said James Derouin on his second year forward.
Johnny Berhanemeskel had another slow start for the Gee-Gees as he has shown difficulty in finding his shot from long range as of late, shooting 0-4 in the first half. Despite his slow start he appeared to get his team going at the beginning of the second half. He came up with some key steals and timely shots to put his team ahead 36-32 in the early going of the third frame. Also contributing to the run was Mike L’Africain who hit three treys in the fourth quarter and finished with nine points and three steals.